The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an international Standardized test of English Language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
There are two types of the IELTS test:
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
IELTS Academic is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States and by various professional organizations across the world.
If you wish to work or migrate to the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand or work in the US, you can take IELTS General test.
IELTS is designed by the Cambridge University and jointly managed by IDP and British Council. British Council is a British organization which specializes in international cultural and educational opportunities. It promotes knowledge of the UK and the English language in over 100 countries. The British Council is a charity registered in England, Wales and Scotland and is governed by the Royal Charter. IDP or International Development Program is an international education organization with about 80 offices in 31 countries. IDP was established in 1969 as Australian Asian Universities Co-operation Scheme. The Australian Asian Universities Co-operation Scheme went through innumerable changes to become today’s IDP.
Which is best for IELTS, British Council or IDP?
- There is no difference between the IELTS test at the BC and in IDP.
- There is also no difference between examiners and marking in the BC and IDP.
IELTS Test Difficulty Level
IDP and British Council conduct IELTS test but they do not write them. All tests used at the BC and IDP are compiled by Cambridge English Language Assessment who is one of the joint owners of IELTS.
IELTS Examiners and Marking at IDP and BC
All examiners for IELTS, both IDP and BC examiners, are trained in the same way, following the same guidelines.
Listening and Reading answers are marked clerically. They are based on right or wrong answers. Each right answer accounts for one point and your score is calculated based on the number of right answers. So, this never differs between test centers.
Writing and Speaking are marked by an examiner. All IELTS examiners, for both IDP and BC, complete the same training course, follow the same marking criteria and also the same band score descriptors. Examiners are also checked regularly to ensure they are not marking too high or too low.
IDP is Australian and BC is British but they both use a range of accents. In the listening test, you will get a range of accents (even American sometimes). In the speaking test, the examiner could come from any country and have any accent. You can use any accent you want in your speaking test: Australian, British or American.